Double-duty dollar

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The term double duty dollar was used in the United States from the early 1900s through the early 1960s, to express the notion that dollars spent with businesses that hired African Americans "simultaneously purchased a commodity and advanced the race". Where that concept applied, it was believed that retailers who excluded African Americans as employees should be shunned.

The slogan was popularized by journalist Gordon B. Hancock.[1] Numerous ministers and activists such as Booker T. Washington and Marcus Garvey urged their communities to redirect their dollars from retailers and services who refused to hire African Americans to those who did hire them.[2][3]

Though the Swadeshi movement had much broader goals, in the 1920s Mohandas Gandhi of India urged his countrymen to avoid funding their own subjugation by buying items from the British which they could produce and trade independently, such as cloth and clothing. In the 1940s and 1950s, Leon Sullivan applied the broader phrase "'selective patronage" to denote consumers' choice of retailers as a tool a) to influence businesses toward having more fair and just interactions with African Americans, and b) to build demand for African-American businesses.[4]

While African-American efforts continue,[5] the strategy has also been applied by others for different, but similar reasons. Among their goals are

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gavins, Raymond. "Gordon Blaine Hancock: A Black Profile from the New South." Journal of Negro History 59.3 (1974): 207-227. in JSTOR
  2. ^ "double duty dollar".
  3. ^ "selective patronage".
  4. ^ Robert Mark Silverman, "Ethnic solidarity and black business." American Journal of Economics and Sociology 58.4 (1999): 829-841.
  5. ^ Our Black Year. ISBN 1610390245.